Pressure cookers are becoming more and more popular, largely due to the many benefits that they can offer.
In addition to reducing cooking time, pressure cookers can save energy and reduce the heat output in your kitchen.
Additionally, cooking in a pressure cooker has been proven to help foods maintain higher nutritional values, as well as preserving their true flavors.
That said, it is critical to understand how different cooking with a pressure cooker is to cooking with a conventional oven.
This article will present some basic tips to help you use your pressure cooker properly.
Tip 1: Never cook dry
Whilst a pressure cooker will retain more moisture than a conventional oven, it is still very necessary to always add liquid when cooking.
It is recommended that you use a minimum of 1 cup of liquid (water or stock) when cooking, but if a recipe calls for more then be sure to follow the recipe.
The real key is to never fill your pressure cooker more than half way with liquid. If you wind up with too much liquid, simply leave the cooker uncovered and boil off the excess liquid. Once the level is half way or less, then you can cook normally.
Tip 2: Use the right amount of food
In addition to never filling your pressure cooker more than half way with liquid, you should never fill it more than two-thirds full with food.
This ensures that there is enough space in the cooker for the steam to build, thus creating the pressure that you need.
If you overfill the cooker, then it will be unable to perform properly.
Tip 3: Always reduce the temperature
In a way, cooking with a pressure cooker is a lot like boiling pasta.
When boiling pasta, you bring the water to a boil, add the pasta, then reduce the heat and let the pasta cook in a slow, gentle boil.
Similarly, you want to start the pressure cooker on a high heat, thus creating the steam and pressure needed. Then, reduce the heat so that it is hot enough to maintain the pressure, but not so hot as to continually increase the pressure.
The lower heat is the temperature that cooks your food.
Tip 4: Time is relative
Just as conventional oven recipe times may not be quite right for your particular oven, so too, pressure cooker times may be a little off.
The general rule is that a recipe time will be too short, never too long.
If your food isn’t quite finished at the stated time, close the cooker, bring it back to the required pressure, and cook for a few additional minutes. Repeat this process until your food is done.
Tip 5: Read the manual
As with any other electronic device or appliance, different models will behave in different ways. Thus, the first thing you want to do is read the manufacturer’s manual that comes with your pressure cooker.
The information in the manual will help you understand the nuances unique to your cooker, and thus will help you be able to use it more effectively.
Using a pressure cooker can be a fun and rewarding experience.
The five tips in this article will help make sure you get the best out of your cooker each and every time you use it. Bon appétit!